Author: Dan Boutwell (Texas, US)
I was devastated to see red marks and scribbled messages on every page of the first report I had written in my new job. I thought the report represented my best work, but my boss did not agree.
We have all been criticised. Unfortunately, it is rarely a pleasant experience. However, when properly delivered, even criticism can be beneficial and productive.
The Apostle Paul had detractors who criticised him to the church at Corinth. They claimed Paul was uncaring, untrustworthy and unqualified. As a result, Paul defended his ministry. He tells us in today’s reading that he realised his words hurt his audience. Although we tend to discourage actions that cause others discomfort, Paul affirms that criticism can sometimes be necessary. However, we must realise that the purpose of it is not to hurt people but to result in correction and growth.
Paul said he was happy and didn’t regret his words because of their ultimate result. Understanding Paul’s words helped me to understand the criticism I had received and to use it to rewrite the report to make it better. Criticism well offered and received can glorify God.
Prayer: Dear Father, give us wisdom to accept constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is given and compassion to offer the same with a gracious spirit. Amen